When the sun comes out that can only mean one thing – exam season is here once again. I know many of you reading All4God will be undertaking exams of some sort over the next couple of months – be it school test, A-levels, SATs, Finals, college exams, GCSEs, university exams, dissertations to complete or any other sort of important assessment.
And when the stress of exams comes it can be all too easy to get overwhelmed and freaked out by it all. It can be easy to prioritise revision to the extent that our daily quiet time with God gets reduced to a rapid prayer of “Help me with this exam” before rushing back to cram in some more facts from the textbook.
But in the midst of exam season, remember the words of Paul in Philippians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Don’t neglect your walk with God. Keep Him your priority above all else. Exams will come and go, but God is eternal. Pray, and cast your burdens and cares onto God, “for he cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7). Don’t get overwhelmed with stress, but through prayer and petition lift it up to God and through Jesus let the peace of God fill your mind and guard your hearts through the next couple of months. And be on the lookout for opportunities to share God’s love with those in your class who are stressing out over the exams. It could be as simple as offering to say a quick prayer for them before the test begins. In all things keep the Main Thing the main thing, and don’t let revision take God’s place in your life. (But at the same time, don’t totally neglect revising and expect God to miraculously enable you to pass. That would be like the foolish man building his house on the sand rather than solid rock. Just don’t let revision totally take over your life, and remember, whatever God has called you to you will be able to do. Nothing is impossible for God, but often it requires that we put in some serious effort ourselves.)
If you’ve got exams coming up, then pray. Pray for God’s peace in the midst of the stress. Pray for focus. Pray that you wouldn’t lose sight of the eternal perspective of what counts (“faith expressed through love” Galatians 5:6). Pray that you could be a shining light of God’s love to the rest of the people in the exam hall with you (NB probably best not to try to explain the Gospel during an exam, invigilators probably wouldn’t accept that as a reason for talking during test conditions…). And if you aren’t doing any exams but know of people who are, pray for them. And if you don’t know anyone doing exams, I have a few the first couple of weeks of June…